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Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

You know that sinking feeling you get when a client comes to you with a question directly related to your field of expertise and you don’t know the answer?

Now, magnify that by a hundred if you’re already harboring some tendencies toward Imposter Syndrome.

Imposter Syndrome is defined as an inability to internalize your accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud” – and speaking from experience, it can feel paralyzing. It’s also pretty inconvenient, to say the least, in a job where clients turn to you for your expertise all day long. Read more after the jump…

The Importance of Active Voice for Brands

When you reflect on the highway billboards of yesteryear and brand slogans that have made an impression on you, they were probably succinct, clever and written in the active voice. Clear, concise writing is absolutely crucial in a brand’s marketing efforts. When a message or campaign gets muddled with lengthy explanations and awkward sentence constructions, the small window of opportunity to quickly convey both meaning and value is lost. One of the simplest issues to address during content revisions is passive voice construction.

Woman Typing on a Laptop Using an Acive Voice For Brand Messaging

Read more after the jump…

Brands Flex Their Creative Muscle on Social Media During the Super Bowl

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The Eagles weren’t the only winners this week. Tide, MoonPies and Fanatics, among others, struck gold by creating thoughtful ad campaigns that took advantage of the big game. The #TidePodChallenge is a thing of the past thanks to Tide’s wonderful series of ads that stole the spotlight throughout the game. MoonPies crafted a funny, on-brand series of tweets that capitalized on the Super Bowl without having to invest big money. Fanatics rode the excitement of Philly’s first Super Bowl win to its second-best sales day ever. Though not everyone was successful on Sunday (looking at you, Patriots and Dodge), this week’s Weekly Reads highlight some of the brands who captured lightning in a bottle.

Super Bowl:

Adweek: Fanatics Targeted Fans on Facebook and Instagram to Score Massive Super Bowl Sales
Thanks to a targeted Instagram and Facebook ad campaign and the Eagles’ first Super Bowl win, Fanatics celebrated one of its biggest sales days ever. The company experienced a 60 percent increase in Super Bowl merchandise sales over last year. Read more after the jump…

Authenticity and Vulnerability Build Stronger Brands, Teams

When we think of leadership, vulnerability is the last leg of a stool you might expect to support teams. However, when speaking to three leaders across the communications industry, vulnerability seemed to be the secret ingredient to foster strong leadership and quality customer service.

Dr. Bill Withers, a professor in the Department of Journalism and Communication at Wartburg College in Waverly, IA., has studied, consulted and written about Quality Customer Service (QCS) for more than a decade. His blog, Faith. Lead. Serve., explores leadership topics about faith groups and large corporations. Having worked with four- and five-star organizations, Withers says, “Those organizations and their people all have a fundamental understanding of ‘excellence.’ They hire and train people with high EQs, not to meet – but exceed expectations, and they want every encounter to be an experience.”

A culture in which employees feel empowered to exceed expectations takes creative leadership. For some teams, that means a platform for expression. Not just creative expression, but a safe place for team members to be authentic. Erica Hanna, an Emmy award-winning producer and founder at Puke Rainbows Creative in Minneapolis, MN, and Kristin Darga, author and founder at Impact Founder, are two leaders in the creative community who serve that need. Hanna and Darga practice what they preach – authenticity and vulnerability.

Our Discussion on Creative Leadership

Darga created Impact Founder, an outlet and eventually a book where entrepreneurs could have raw conversations about what running and starting a business was really like. Darga said, “As a business owner, I can’t deny the direct correlation between my health, happiness, creativity and the growth of my business.”  Impact Founder became a platform where founders could connect and share stories of their personal success and failure.

Hanna grew in popularity across the Minneapolis and national blogging scene after openly and honestly expressing her thoughts on a variety of topics from human rights to mental health. As a director, producer and editor, Hanna’s work is an expression of her own authenticity. “Saying it and actually doing it are two completely different things,” she said. “Showing that struggle and transparency sometimes is exactly what the consumer needs.”

Three Takeaways

  1. Create a culture of excellence: Organizations known for Quality Customer Service create a culture of excellence.
  1. Speak up and share: Empowering teams and providing a safe platform for authentic conversations can help those who are having creative ups and downs. Team members who open up to others are often perceived as leaders.
  1. Embrace vulnerability and authenticity: In an era of overwhelming content, brands need to become comfortable with sharing authentic stories so they can stand out in the crowd.

Netflix’s ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ Announcement Changed the Promotion Process

Sunday night, before the kickoff to Super Bowl LII, movie director Ava DuVernay posted the following tweet:

Ava DuVernay tweet about Netflix Cloverfield Paradox

That surprise turned out to be Netflix’s release of the trailer for The Cloverfield Paradox, the latest installment in the Cloverfield series. The trailer came out of nowhere and with the subsequent announcement that the full movie would be on the streaming service immediately after the game. For years, studios have used the Super Bowl as a jumping off point to sell their summer blockbusters to the masses. Now, a sci-fi movie franchise famous for its mysterious films made the biggest splash on the biggest advertising stage there is. Netflix has created a reputation of making itself into entertainment’s biggest showman and on Super Bowl Sunday, they did it again.

Read more after the jump…

Positive Instagram Updates On the Way for Brands

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In a long overdue announcement, Instagram is giving businesses the opportunity to schedule posts, and view posts that have tagged or mentioned their brand profile. We’ve also got the Super Bowl this weekend and Winter Olympics kicking off the following week – the perfect storm to see the latest and greatest digital brand activations!

Instagram

AdWeek: Brands with Business Profiles on Instagram Can Now Schedule Organic Posts
The big news for brands on Instagram this week is that we’ll soon be able to schedule organic posts, view posts where we’ve been tagged or mentioned and view other business profiles. The updates will be rolling out soon, but one downside: the features will, at least for the time being, only be available via third-party apps like Hootsuite or Sprout Social. Read more after the jump…

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Take On Healthcare

Shaking up the healthcare industry: Amazon, banking giant JP Morgana and holding company Berkshire Hathaway publicly announced they will be taking on the healthcare industry | GroundFloor Media PR Agency

Shaking up the healthcare industry: Amazon, banking giant JP Morgan and holding company Berkshire Hathaway publicly announced they will be taking on the healthcare industry.

Well, “shake it up baby, now” comes to mind when I think of Tuesday’s announcement that Amazon, banking giant JP Morgan and holding company Berkshire Hathaway publicly announced they will be taking on the healthcare industry. CEOs of the three companies say they’re aware of the enormous challenges they face.

In a statement, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said, “The healthcare system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty. Hard as it might be, reducing healthcare’s burden on the economy while improving outcomes for employees and their families would be worth the effort.”

Although details on exactly how the new healthcare business would work have not been revealed, the partners plan to form an independent healthcare company for their employees in the United States. The initiative’s goal is to provide new technological solutions to simplify and decrease expenses for consumers.

Read more after the jump…

Best Movie Poster Designs of 2017

The 2018 Oscar nominees are out and awards season is in full gear. I’ve been going to the theater and hitting Netflix and Amazon hard to make sure I catch all the nominated movies before the Oscars air on March 4th. Yes, Gary Oldman is fantastic in The Darkest Hour. Coco made me cry more than any Pixar movie since Up. The Shape of Water was beautiful and weird and wonderful.

During awards season, we discuss our favorite performances, soundtracks and stories, but we rarely bring up our favorite movie posters from the past year’s films. Below, I’ve broken down my picks for the best movie posters of 2017: Read more after the jump…

4 Ways to Optimize Working In-House with Clients

Tennyson Center for Children

GFM’s Amanda Brannum spent time working in-house with our clients at Tennyson Center for Children.

At GFM, we occasionally have the opportunity to work in-house with our clients – perhaps helping out during a maternity or paternity leave or filling in during a staffing transition. I’ve had semi-long-term (several months) onsite assignments with a handful of PR clients over the years, most recently last fall when I spent four months in-house at a local private school. Whatever the reason for the in-house assignment, it’s always a really interesting learning experience from a number of perspectives. Four top takeaways from my in-house time with companies in three different industries follows:

Read more after the jump…

Platforms Make Tweaks to Inspire More Sharing

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Whether it’s adding functionality or dropping old features, a few of our favorite social media platforms were out in full force this week making tweaks to entice users to share more content. If you’re having trouble keeping up with the latest changes, we’ve got you covered – including a step-by-step guide, an introduction to a new automated tool and a “must follow” list to get you warmed up for the Winter Olympics.

Instagram

Adweek: Here’s How to Add a GIF to a Story Post
Recently, Instagram added the capability for users to add GIFs to their Stories posts. Been wondering how to get in on that action? Here’s a step-by-step guide complete with illustrations. Read more after the jump…